Posted: March 26
Betrayer is a fun game.
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Reviews are meant to be longer? Fine.
You end up shipwrecked on a beach in Virginia in 1604, as you get up and proceed to work your way to the colonies and small settlements you realized everyone is ♥♥♥♥ing gone except for a girl with a red hood, and Spaniards. And form there you must unravel what happened to the colony and everyone in it, that's the story right there.
The game is classified as horror, and this appears as you unravel the story, the history, and even in the enemies. I'm telling you right now that when you think you've seen it all, the game pulls another punch that catches you offguard. You'll also find that the game is split between two worlds.
Gameplay is fantastic, it's a mix between Dark Souls and STALKER. Everything virtually takes away 50% of your health, you drink water to restore your health and can carry two charges of water with you to use, and it gets tougher as the game goes along. If you die you drop all your loot in that area, it disappears if you die before picking it up. You can change it to easy mode though but why would you do that?
Moving around the map is also pretty damn nice, as you can run for as long as you want, no sprint bar or anything, and fast travel is an option, making traversing a breeze. Combatwise you don't get anything, you only get a knife for melee and that's it, you can stealth kill with it and you can upgrade the damage it does. Weaponry includes musket's (pistol and rifle), bows (short and long), and a crossbow, there are unique versions of it which overhaul how you fight, and the bows are silent for stealth killing, you also get a tomahawk, which you throw, also silent, it oneshots nearly everything.
As you go through the game you will find pages which explain more of the history, and areas that are buried, these hold clues for your investigation jobs, and items. Speaking of which, your investigations play a vital role in the game, seeing as how no one cane be talked to in the light world, they happen dynamically, as you find items or otherwise. They really help toward the end game as well as open up the history more.
Moving on from that, we move to various tidbits, you can buy and sell, and you don't need to be at a merchant station to sell, you can sell from your inventory, pretty convenient. You also can retrieve arrows, ammo, and tomahawks off of killed enemies, as well as various loot items. And speaking of loot items, there are chests everywhere, and some hold upgrades to items, these include and extra tomahawk, and charms.
And charms are the next part, charms are those items you apply for various additions to what you have. These include the ability to be harder to see, faster reload, and more health. The charms and weapons all come in various qualities, from crude to exceptional, there's also unique weaponry, which upgrades on a different scale. You can carry three charms, and three weapons, and all weapons are tied to hotkeys and of course, the scroll wheel. Oh, and I forgot to mention, you do get set amounts of ammo, such as 10 arrows, but your ammo count is also upgradable, ♥♥♥♥in' A!
There are also bells in every section of the map, that lead to the Otherworld/Bell World/Purgatory. This is also a major area in where the horror manifests, as well as a whole different map to explore for loot, enemies, and the story of course! It's shrouded in fog and everything else you saw in the video on the store page. It's fun! You can also hit X for help, no waymarkers are used, despite having a compass, and hitting X will give you some creepy audio which leads you to clues and objectives, it can't be used constantly though, mashing X won't give you a stream of the audio; it "recharges" after use which takes a few seconds.
There is a toggle button which does give you a subtle waymarker on the compass to help you.
Stealth is one of the biggest aspects of this game, occassionally in the overworld the grass rustles, this lets you run through it for the duration without alerting anyone, and running will bring attention, as will firing any gun. You can crouch, which hides you, and get close to enemies to shank them, or hit them with a tomahawk. An important note to take is that wind does not affect arrows or bullets, so feel free not to worry if you are aiming and the wind suddenly blows.
Oh boy this is fun!
I'm only gonna reveal two, because I can and the enemies are really something to see.
Spaniards: One thing you'll notice fast is that the Spaniards dotted around the map are not quite humanly, these are your standard enemy, and they stop at nothing to kill you, they come in numbers, and force. They will be armed with bows, muskets of both kinds, and they tend to run up and stab/punch you in your face. Remember! You can't take too many hits, so even four of them will require some kind of planning. Worry not though, as the game does not penalize you for choosing one combat type over the other, but running in guns blazing is still a risky move.
Skeletons: The common everyday grunt of fantasy games returns and wants you dead! The skeletons are not push overs, every bit as strong as the Spaniards, but at least five different kinds of lethal. Unlike the Spaniards they are mostly melee oriented, but a good number of them will attack at range, and seeing as how they don't have guns or bows, they fire energy blasts at you at a rapid rate, did I mention they also have good aiming? Also unlike the Spaniards, they pop up at random around the Otherworld, some may pop up no more than a few feet from you. Spooked solid? You ♥♥♥♥in' bet.
Wraiths, Shadows, The Red Hooded Maiden.
Wraiths and Shadows are there to tell a story, don't expect too much from them. They are the people to talk to do everything investigation related, don't expect them to be fully fleshed out, however their own histories are pretty interesting. Shadows however are there to tell a story like the Wraithes and give you sidequests and rewards. Both Wraithes and Shadows really really add to the horror factor, and the Wraithes especially make it seem like it's some kind of purgatory where they are. The Red Hooded Maiden is the person you'll be in constant contact with, she's the only person to talk to in the light world, not much more to say but to experience it for yourself, sorry for ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ting my way out!
The game is in an entirely black an white color scheme, punctuated with shades of red. This adds to the horror, and the red shows you something is not right with the world. You can change the color contrast, but why would you do that also? I do recommend playing through it the first time on black and white, it was the dev's artistic vision and it really makes the game. There's also no music, relying on ambient and various sounds, some superb audio if I ever heard any.
The game also throws punches in terms of difficulty, as you do progress your weapons do let you deal with the enemies more smoothly, but as you get better so do they, as new enemies appear and as they get more agressive in numbers and to ane extent, power. Did I mention arrows have a chance of deflecting off armor?
There is one problem, and that is a bug that makes you crash to the desktop. This is the only bug and it happens by accessing the menu and just rapidly moving through things. It's not the worst, but it does break the immersion when it happens; tread carefully around that. The game also saves often, so no worries if it does crash.
Overall, Betrayer is an unsettling game, that gets better as you progress, it doesn't get over complicated or lost in telling the story, the combat remains challenging and grows as you go along. The total game time is at least 8-10 hours, not bad for an indie game.
I give this game 4 out of 5 Axes!